The University Museum's collection covers four centuries of scientific history and consists of numerous objects, photographs and documents. The museum also curates art objects in the Academy Building, such as the collection of professor's portraits in the Senate room.
All faculties within the university were long held to keep a museum, but over time this custom was lost. When a faculty museum closed its doors, the collection was usually transferred to the University Museum.
In 1984, for example, the collection of the Botanical Museum was added to the collection of the University Museum. In 2003 the collections of the Ethnological Museum 'Gerardus van der Leeuw' and the Anatomical Museum were added and in 2007 a large part of the natural history collection of the university, from the Museum of Natural History, was also added to the collection which had now become large in volume and diversity.
A part of this extensive collection is visible in the museum today.